Between April 2016 and January 2017, India’s exports of wool and wool blends fell 18 per cent in dollar terms and 15 per cent in rupee terms. One reason is the US, the European Union and the UAE are witnessing a slowdown. About 70 per cent of the exports go to the US and European countries, so any fall in demand impacts exports to a substantial level.
The slowdown in global demand has affected medium-sized manufacturers in Ludhiana and Amritsar. Punjab accounts for 35 per cent of the total exports of wool and wool-blended products followed by Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Now, woolen manufacturers are exploring options like Kazakhstan, Australia, Germany and China. They are participating in trade fairs and buyer-seller meets.
In addition the industry has asked for exempting raw wool from import duty, abolishing import duty on woolen textile machinery and increasing duty drawback rates. India’s wool and woolen textile industry is the seventh largest in the world. India’s wool and woolen industry can broadly be divided into worsted yarn, woolen yarn, wool tops, fabric, shoddy yarn, shoddy fabrics, blankets, knitwear, handmade carpets and machine made carpets.
Woolen handmade carpets contribute 72.7 per cent to total woolen exports.